I met half of the Filthy Rebena Vintage team last week at a Toronto Etsy Street Team meet-up on a stunning late afternoon in Riverdale Park. Darlene and Natalie are vintage vendors. I can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for Etsy: Made in Canada at the MaRS Discovery District this Saturday, September 26 (10am-6pm)! You will find Filthy Rebena at table 40, which is in the MPR Foyer.
NOTE: This year at Etsy:Made in Canada, there is a significantly different layout and they are using the entire length of the building, so the MPR Foyer is the first foyer up the stairs. The glass box that was so crowded last year is not in use. The area that the rest of us were in only has 40 vendors in it this year and the other 100+ of us are up the stairs and further east. I will post a map in a day or two.
(click to see larger images below)
Products: Vintage clothing, upcycled swag, jewelry, housewares and reasons to ogle.
Price Range: $20 – $50
How did this all begin?
Filthy Rebena’s co-owners met in October 2010 working together as vintage wardrobe stylists on a high-volume photography shoot. There was no awkward chit-chat. The energy felt right. To put it simply, the stylists became instant friends.
For a year the stylists worked closely alongside each other. Days were spent together steaming, prepping and photographing vintage clothing. The stylists communicated quite a bit about designers, fabrics and online style blogs. There was a lot of fighting and wrestling mannequins. Mainly, the photography studio was filled with the stylists laughter. They had laughing fits often – which typically revolved around 1980’s styles, adventures of pillaging the vending machine and mocking each others tastes in clothing.
After a year of growing a strong sisterhood, the company had a mass layoff. The stylists found themselves out of jobs. They were upset, blue and broke. The only thing they had to show for themselves was their massive collection of vintage clothing.
That’s when the stylists decided they would sell off their own collection in hopes of having a little bit of money in their pockets. Once late night in November 2011, the stylists came across Etsy and decided to create a shop.
What inspired you to do this work?
Nostalgia and hope for a better future. To get away from the corporate world and do good things in the fashion industry.
What is your passion?
We have a passion for art, fashion and being good to the planet. Filthy Rebena is brilliant because we are able to express ourselves while having a conscience. Not only are our garments trendy – but reclaimed. Customers and staff can feel positive about the company and what we are trying to do.
What inspires new products?
Fashion is cyclical The past keeps reoccurring through a “new” trend in one way or another. We love to keep vintage relevant to the times so we pick our vintage with the current runway shows in mind. We think it’s cool to make something that is old new again.
What’s the most challenging part of your work?
It can be hard letting go of a garment that you’ve become emotionally attached to. Easier said than done.
What’s the most fun part of your work?
Treasure hunting! We love feeling like a pirate and venturing to unknown areas in search of treasures. It is just as satisfying to then be able to share our treasures with our customer base.
What is the most eccentrically glam thing in your collection?
We have an awesome Picasso splash jacket that is quite ghetto-cubist-chic.
What is your number one fashion rule?
Our only rule in fashion is to recycle your clothes.
Where do you wish to be buried and in what?
Certainly want to be buried in a coffin somewhere where pirates will find us. We will have jeweled bangles up to our elbows, so when they pillage us we will make their day. Hopefully they put our skeletons on the bow of their ship so we can sail the seas.
Please share some insight into your creative process.
Babbling to each other generally helps get the creative juices flowing.
What do you do when you’re not creating?
We love having a classic cocktail in a handsome, vintage glass. But, we swear this is rare because creation in always on our minds. It is great to love what you do because you are constantly wanting to do it. There is no dread about going to work.
You can find Filthy Rebena online @filthyrebena on their website, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Etsy shop, Pinterest, and in their brick and mortar shop at 177 Dundas Street in London, ON Tuesday – Saturday 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM. Drop by and try on a treasure!
(All images used with permission.)